GTT New Westminster and Vancouver Summary Notes, Bluetooth Keyboards, February 20 and March 3, 2018

Get Together with Technology (GTT)

New Westminster and Vancouver Meetings


A Chapter of the Canadian Council of the Blind

in partnership with

Blind Beginnings and

Vancouver Community College


Summary Notes

February 20 in New Westminster and March 3 in Vancouver, 2018


Attendance at both meetings totaled 17


Summary Notes on Bluetooth keyboards


John Ogilvie lead both discussions:

There are Bluetooth keyboards available for the IPhone and IPad.  Some are smaller and fold in half, and others are larger.

Using the keyboard, means you don’t have to use the touch screen and gestures

There are various keyboards which are slightly different

Quick Nav – left and right arrow together puts you in or out of this mode

When we are writing we turn it off, but when we’re reading we turn it on.

Swiping left and right with quicknav on is just using your arrow keys

To get to the top of the screen – control up arrow, or control down arrow to get to the bottom

When it says actions available you can use your up and down arrows to hear what options there are

Double tap on the keyboard is up and down arrow together

Hitting 2 takes you to level 2 headings

Option key with left or right arrow is to go back one word or forward one word – when writing

Command key is like the control key on a PC

Keyboard help allows you to touch any key on the keyboard to figure out where the keys are.

Control option K turns on the keyboard help

To exit keyboard help press Escape

Control option A is read from where your cursor is onwards


Control up arrow to top of mail

Right arrow will take you through each of your messages

Hit control to stop it from reading

Attachments are always at the bottom of the Emails and you can get there by doing a control down arrow

Up and down arrow together to select or open

Hold down an arrow can skip you forward or back quickly

Roter on the keyboard is up arrow with left arrow, or up arrow with eright arrow and then just arrow up or down to read.

When you are going through the list of your Emails you will hear actions available.  When you hear actions available you arrow up and down to hear the options.  Select more to get to reply


When you are moving your arrow to the right it puts your cursor to the right of the character, and when you are arrowing left, it puts your cursor to the left of the character

Option left and right brings you from one screen to the next


Works similarily to navigate around

Search button on the keyboard – type in what you are searching for

Use QuickNav to look through the options to find the one you want and select it with up and down arrow together


next meeting: March 20, 2018

Facebook – using the GTT group


For more information about GTT contact:

Shawn Marsolais                  Albert Ruel

604-434-7243                        1-877-304-0968 Ext. 550


GTT New Westminster and Vancouver Overview

  • GTT New Westminster/ Vancouver is a chapter of the Canadian Council of the Blind (CCB).
  • GTT New Westminster and Vancouver promote a self-help learning experience by holding monthly meetings to assist participants with assistive technology.
  • Each meeting consists of a feature technology topic, questions and answers about technology, and one-on-one training where possible.
  • Participants are encouraged to come to each meeting even if they are not interested in the feature topic because questions on any technology are welcome. The more participants the better able we will be equipped with the talent and experience to help each other.
  • There are GTT groups across Canada as well as a national GTT monthly toll free teleconference. You may subscribe to the National GTT blog to get email notices of teleconferences and notes from other GTT chapters. Visit:

There is a form at the bottom of that web page to enter your email.


National GTT Email Support List

CCB sponsors a GTT email support list to provide help and support with technology for blind and low vision Canadians.  To subscribe to the email list, send an empty email to:


[End of Document]


GTT New Westminster and Vancouver Summary Notes, Making TV Accessible, February 15 and March 4, 2017

Get Together with Technology (GTT)
New Westminster and Vancouver Meetings

Sponsored by the Canadian Council of the Blind in partnership with Blind Beginnings

Summary Notes
Feb. 15 and March 4, 2017

Making TV Accessible

Feb 15 in New Westminster:
Present: Albert, Matthew, Ryan, Fay, Carol, John, Bill, Karim, Pat.
March 4 in Vancouver:
Present: Sean H, Ryan, Monty, Rita, Betty, Maria, John

Starting out with TV in general:
• Antenna or cable was the traditional way, but now you can access TV over digital, the internet, or satellite.
• IP TV is internet protocol television.
• Something like YouTube or Netflics uses an application to stream video from the internet.
• IP TV is similar in that it uses an app to access a server that broadcasts traditional live TV channels (CTV, CBC, Global, etc.).
• You need to subscribe to the service, and get some hardware like ChromeCast, Apple TV or the xBox.

How accessible is it:

• AE-BC internet corp is the only one Monty knows of, in terms of IP TV provider
• The are an internet service provider.
• They buy their bandwidth in bulk from bigger companies, so you are using the same infrastructure, but when you phone up customer service, you are talking to AE-BC.
• Internet plans are potentially cheaper, unlimited downloads as well.
• So you need the internet to have IP TV service.

So how do we watch it:

• They can sell you an Android cypher bar, which is a small Android box that plugs into the wall, and into your tv through HDMI, and it has USB inputs and a couple different audio outputs.
• It is about six inches by two inches, almost the size of a small braille display.
• Last year that box was the main option, it cost 200 dollars, and you had to buy it.
• Monty found that he could use talkback, the android accessible screen reader that is built in to the box.
• It did not work one hundred percent, but it was a partially talking set top box.
• The iPhone app was not 100 percent accessible either, but Monty was able to move up and down the navigation menu and choose the channel he was looking for, and he was able to toggle descriptive video on and off (however, the descriptive video was not working on shows he knew it was available on), so that was one drawback. He was also not able to get descriptive video on the iOS app.
• So you get the basic 40 local channels for free, and they allow you to bundle extra channels just like shaw and Telus.
• So that concludes the description of live TV over the internet.
• Participants gave information on Shaw Free Range TV, which is a similar internet TV service that is offered to shaw customers.

Moving on to Apple TV:

• It is a box you hook up to your TV with Voiceover – you can use Netflicks, Show Me, Crave TV, – has its own App store.
• Apple TV can only get info from the Internet – not from your regular cable TV. All cable TV menus are still not accessible.
• There is a device you can use to connect the Apple TV to your stereo to allow you to access the audio of the Apple TV programming.
• Google also makes the ChromeCast – is cheaper and everything is done through your smart phone.
• Shaw cable is starting to offer the ChromeCasts service in the Vancouver and Calgary areas, and are planning to go nationwide with it soon.
• Siri is available on the new Apple TV as well.
• You can ask Siri to go find a movie on NetFlics or iTunes or a song on YouTube.
• You can set triple click to turn off and on Voiceover on the Apple TV.
• You can turn on audio description so that any program you play that has audio-description will play automatically.
• You can use a Bluetooth keyboard instead of the apple TV remote.
• Price ranges from $150 – $250 depending on the amount of storage you want, 32, 64 or 128 GB.

Microsoft Xbox:

• Xbox also allows you to use Narrator to access Netflicks etc.

Tutorial Podcasts:

• Podcast providers like and David Woodbridge offer many opportunities to learn about the many apps and devices available.

Tell Me More TV:

• Another subscription service that is currently available is Tell Me More – everything is in described TV – like AMI for $7 per month – watch on Internet. They are working on an app
• Use the PromoCode Tellmemore17 and you’ll get $25 percent off

Topic for the next New Westminster meeting, March 15 will be GPS:

• We will play a podcast on Nearby Explorer.

The topic for April Vancouver and New Westminster meetings:

• Dropbox will be the focus, both a lecture component and then a hands on signing up for and installing Dropbox component. Bring your laptop computer or smart phone so you can receive the support you need.